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Italy-Croatia-Istanbul

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Hi all! Hoping for some advice on a trip my partner and i are looking to do in early September. We are wanting to see some of Italy, Croatia and Istanbul before flying to Vietnam for a few weeks.

For Italy we were thinking of seeing Sicily then making our way to Puglia with a potential stop in Calabria on the way. We are thinking of doing Italy for 2 weeks before boarding the overnight ferry from Puglia (i think from Bari) to Dubrovnik in Croatia. We are then planning to spend about 10-14 days in Croatia making our way from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, where we fly out of to Istanbul (unless someone else knows a better way to get from Croatia to Istanbul??), where we could potentially spend a week before flying to Vietnam.

Does anyone have any ideas on itineries for this sort of a trip, particular the Italy, Croatia and Istanbul sections? Places that are must sees or places to avoid? how long in each place would be recommended? Would Calabria be worth the stop over on the way to Puglia (i think theres a train from palermo to calabria...) and for how long if so / where abouts? Is it a dangerous place? For background my partner and I love going to places and immersing ourselves in the culture - very much the type that love trying the local food, wine and spending time outdoors as opposed to seeing lots of museums etc.

We have only just started thinking about the trip so would really appreciate any advice/suggestions that anyone has etc. Thank you in advance!

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